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We are a trusted source for information regarding cannabis oil and medical marijuana. Amongst others The California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (Bureau) include our cannabis oil pages as “Documents Relied Upon,” however, we are based in Europe.
The use of medical cannabis oil is not a new phenomenon; historians suggest that the recipe for the anointing oil mentioned in the Bible included cannabis, or ‘kaneh-bosm’ in Hebrew.
It is only recently that the cannabinoids found within medical cannabis oil have been discovered to have anti-cancer possibilities in laboratory testing.
Cannabis was first listed in the 1851 (3rd edition) of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and until prohibition was introduced cannabis was the primary treatment for over 100 separate illnesses and diseases.
There is an argument that even recreational users are to a certain extent self medicating with cannabis, as a means of relieving stress, stimulating appetite, regulating sleep patterns and improving their general outlook on life.
A number of American states have now legalized medical marijuana use despite currently only 6% of studies on medical cannabis oil designed to evaluate and analyze its medicinal properties.
What is medical cannabis oil?
Cannabis is often referred to by many different names including marijuana, ganja, weed or herb but regardless of how it is referred to cannabis is one of the safest medicines available today.
There has never been a single recorded fatality from cannabis use in thousands of years of human history.
At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.
Heroin has a therapeutic ratio of 6:1, alcohol and Valium 10:1. Cocaine 15:1. Aspirin has a therapeutic ratio of 20:1; twenty times the recommended dose (40 tablets) can cause death, and almost certainly induce extensive internal bleeding and serious injury.
Drugs used to treat patients with cancer, glaucoma and MS are all known to be highly toxic.
The ratio of some drugs used in antineoplastic treatments have therapeutic ratios below 1.5:1.
According to a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2012, cannabis does not impair lung function and can even increase lung capacity.
Researchers looking for risk factors of heart disease tested the lung function of 5,115 young adults over the course of 20 years Tobacco smokers lost lung function over time, but cannabis users actually showed an increase in lung capacity.
It’s possible that the increased lung capacity maybe due to taking a deep breaths while inhaling the drug and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.
The principal cannabinoids in the cannabis plant include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN).
THC is the primary psychoactive compound along with CBD, a non-psychoactive compound.THC Has been shown to kill cancer cells in laboratory trials.
CBD may ease THC-induced anxiety or psychosis and their combination results in a more satisfying effect. CBD has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties in laboratory tests.
The cannabis plant and its products consist of an enormous variety of chemicals.
Some of the 483 compounds identified are unique to cannabis, for example, the more than 60 cannabinoids, whereas the terpenes, with about 140 members forming the most abundant class, are widespread in the plant kingdom, the cannabis plant is literally an organic chemical factory.
In some medical cannabis oil preparations THC levels have risen radically by using a concentrating process such as butane hash oil that yields levels in excess of 80% cannabinoid content.
Information on sourcing cannabis oil
“If (Marijuana) were unknown, it’s discovery would no doubt be hailed as a medical breakthrough. Scientists would praise it’s potential for treating everything from pain to cancer and marvel at it’s rich pharmacopoeia; many of whose chemicals mimic vital molecules in the human body.” – The Economist
Cannabis oil uses
Medical cannabis oil is consumed by various means, with the most common being smoking, followed by vaporization, and then by the oral route.
Medical cannabis oil is generally taken orally, although rectal administration is more effective.
Read more about cannabinoids and cancer treatments here
Standard medicines are not delivered as inhaled smoke, but enter the body by other routes of administration (pill, injection, topical creams, patches, inhalants, eye drops, liquid drinks, suppositories).
When used to prevent nausea, factors such as speed of brain entry and challenges of swallowing whilst vomiting are important when considering inhaling cannabis smoke as a medicine. Inhalation by smoking or vaporization of medical cannabis oil releases maximal levels of THC into blood within minutes, peaking at 15-30 minutes, and decreasing within 2-3 hours. Increasingly, delivery of cannabis to the brain for medical or recreational use is via cannabis vaporization.
Lower temperatures in the vaporization of cannabis deliver fewer high molecular weight components.
While vaporizers have risen in popularity in recent years, their effects have not yet been investigated by large-scale studies. One study published by Dr. Earleywine in 2007, suggested that cannabis can be ‘safer’ when a vaporizer is used and may decrease possible respiratory issues, which doesn’t make much sense considering other studies that found lung capacity was unaffected by cannabis use..
Vaporization does however reduce the characteristic odor of cannabis smoke, enabling medical users to be far more discreet in their administration.
Cannabis oil how to use it
Cannabis buds are the dried flowers of the female plant. Hashish is a compacted resin of the plant, both are usually ingested or smoked.
Oral ingestion from edibles is a slow absorption process but this does not result in a loss of pharmacological activity.
Oral ingestion delays the psychoactive effects by 30-90 minutes and peaks at 2-3 hours with effects lasting for longer periods of time (4-12 hours), depending on THC levels.
In smokers with chronic heavy (daily) cannabis use THC can be detected in their blood even after a month of sustained abstinence.
This can have implications for individuals who undergo random drug testing in the work place.
The UK National health service reviewed the US national drug court institutes findings who estimate this can be anything from four days to two months depending on certain factors; read report.
Cannabis oil cures cancer?
Researchers have found medical cannabis oil helps fight Breast Cancer, this cancer comprises 10.4% of all cancer incidence among women, making it the second most common type of non-skin cancer (after lung cancer).
It is the fifth most common cause of cancer death. In 2004, breast cancer caused 519,000 deaths worldwide (7% of cancer deaths; almost 1% of… read more
Cannabis terpenoids share a precursor to cannabinoids (e.g. limonene, myrcene, α-pinene, linalool), some of which are thought to be suitable for therapies or as facilitators of cannabinoid efficacy. Cannabinoids are not the only products of the cannabis plant with medicinal properties.
Cannabinoids are not the only products of the cannabis plant with medicinal properties.
However, it does make sense that using the whole spectrum of cannabinoids is preferable to isolating specific components such as CBD. Preparations of cannabis oil generally contain a full cannabinoid profile.
Medical cannabis oil for pain
A recent, international survey was carried out of 31 countries and investigated the medicinal use of cannabis in the United States, Germany, Canada, France, the Netherlands and Spain.
They found that cannabis was used primarily for:
Back pain (11.9%), Sleeping disorders (6.9%), Depression (6.7%), Injury or accident-generated pain (6.2%), Multiple sclerosis (4.1%).
With the exception of serious illness such as cancerous tumors these were the most common uses.
One study from the United Kingdom reported that approximately 14-18% of MS patients used cannabis for symptom relief from pain, spasticity and insomnia.
In an animal model of MS, the neurodegeneration rate can be reduced by administration of the cannabinoid CB2.
However, in tests THC failed to stop MS progression.
Treatment with smoked cannabis, however, resulted in a reduction in Ashworth scale ratings of spasticity
There was also a decrease in pain, and a significant reduction in cognitive function.
A report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal by Jody Corey-Bloom studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful contractions in their muscles. These patients didn’t respond to other treatments, but after smoking cannabis for a few days they was a significant reduction in pain.
THC binds to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain.
Pain can be classified as acute or chronic, or by site of origin (nociceptive) or nerves (neuropathic). Neuropathic pain occurs in various disease states (e.g. diabetes, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic pain, cancer, excess alcohol use, rheumatoid arthritis etc.) and can be a persistent, debilitating condition.
HIV neuropathic pain affects 30% or more of HIV-infected individuals and some antiretroviral therapies can worsen the condition. Current analgesics and other medications offer incomplete pain relief when compared to medical cannabis oil use.
Many HIV-infected individuals report improvements in health from smoking cannabis. Of over 200 people with HIV/AIDS, 23% reported use of cannabis for pain relief in the previous month.
In 2010, researchers at Harvard Medical School suggested that that some of the drug’s benefits may actually be from reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker’s mood and act as a sedative in low doses.
(AD) is the most common type of dementia, and is characterized by a number of debilitating symptoms, including cognitive decline, sleep disorders, and behavioural changes.
A study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute suggests marijuana may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The 2006 study, published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, found that THC, the active chemical in marijuana, slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them.
These plaques are what kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer’s. There is therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in AD, especially for sedative effects or sleep disorders. Some positive benefits are relevant to the degenerative process.
Treating epilepsy with cannabis oil
Cannabis use can prevent epileptic seizures, a 2003 study showed. Robert J. DeLorenzo, of Virginia Commonwealth University, gave marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats. The drugs rid the rats of the seizures for about 10 hours.
Cannabinoids like the active ingredients in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), control seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.
The findings were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
THC-like compounds made by the body increase the permeability of the intestines, allowing bacteria in.
The plant-derived cannabinoids in marijuana block these body-cannabinoids, preventing this permeability and making the intestinal cells bond tighter together. In clinical tests patients reported after eight weeks of treatment and two weeks thereafter that complete remission was achieved. A positive clinical response was observed in 10 of 11 subjects in the cannabis group.
Three patients in the cannabis group were weaned from steroid dependency and subjects reported improved appetite and sleep with no significant side effects. Cannabis use produced a clinical, steroid-free benefit in patients.
Cannabis oil and PTSD
Cannabis oil has been shown to help veterans suffering from PTSD. The Department of Health and Human Services recently signed off on a proposal to study marijuana’s potential as part of treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. In New Mexico,
PTSD is the number one reason to be granted a license for medical marijuana, but this is the first time the U.S. government has approved a proposal that incorporates smoked or vaporized marijuana, which is currently classified by the government as a drug with no accepted medical applications. Naturally occurring cannabinoids, similar to THC, help regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain. Interestingly, the high from THC is also associated with temporary impairments of memory.
Recent studies confirm that oral doses of THC can help relieve a variety of PTSD-related symptoms including flashbacks, agitation and nightmares.
Treating Glaucoma with cannabis oil
This is an array of ocular disorders which leads to visual deficits or blindness. Cannabis can be used to treat and prevent the eye disease, which increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision.
Cannabis decreases the pressure inside the eye, according to the National Eye Institute:
“Studies in the early 1970’s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”
These effects of the drug may slow the progression of the disease, preventing blindness.
Likewise, after studies showed that smoking cannabis could reduce symptoms in glaucoma sufferers, scientists tried and failed again to develop a way to administer THC in eye drops. The idea proved too complicated due to the fact that THC is not soluble in water.
Glaucoma can occur for a number of reasons.
Many cases are caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye.
The eyeball is filled with a watery substance called aqueous humour, which creates pressure in the eye to give it shape.
In healthy eyes, this fluid constantly flows in and out of the eye.
Whilst many glaucoma patients rely on medical cannabis to this day, the American Glaucoma Society still maintains the position that its effects are too short-lived.
They argue that it is effective but requires regular use as it has too short a duration (lasting 3-4 hours) to be considered a viable treatment option.
Cannabis oil and stroke victims
Research from the University of Nottingham shows that cannabis may help protect the brain from damage caused by stroke.
By reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke in rats, mice, and monkeys.
This isn’t the only research that has shown neuroprotective effects from cannabis.
Some research shows that the plant may help protect the brain after other traumatic events, like concussions. There is some evidence that cannabis can help heal the brain after a concussion or other traumatic injury.
A recent study in the journal Cerebral Cortex showed that in mice, cannabis oil lessened the bruising of the brain and helped with healing mechanisms after a traumatic injury.
The medical benefits of cannabis continue to be debated globally, as they have been for nearly 150 years but the evidence tends to support the fact that medical cannabis oil has many therapeutic effects and its continued prohibition denies many patients a viable alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
Read more about cannabinoids and cancer treatments here at cannabis cure.
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